Did you know the average American throws out 82 pounds of textile waste per year? It’s spring and for a lot of us that means it’s time to spring clean our closets. I’m all for cleaning out and purging anything that isn’t serving you anymore during this process. But, when you consider the damaging effects clothing waste have on our environment it is important to do your purging with environmental consciousness. Today I’m giving you tips for spring cleaning your closet responsibly.
The Environmental Impact of Clothing Waste
Just because our discarded clothes are no longer in our lives, it doesn’t mean they’ve disappeared. Clothes can take up to 40 years to decompose and shoes can take longer! While some materials take longer to decompose than others, all have harmful effects for the environment. In addition to releasing gases like methane, most fabrics are made with dyes and chemicals that can contaminate the soil and water in the ground. But there’s a responsible alternative. Up to 95% of textiles can be recycled. Whether you choose to donate your old things to charity, or up-cycle them into something new for yourself, imagine the environmental difference we could make if everyone made the choice to recycle their clothes!
Two Ways To Keep Your Clothes Out Of A Landfill
- Sell or Recycle Your Clothing Through Reformation and ThredUP. // Reformation clothing company and ThredUP teamed up to make it easy for you to sell your old clothes or recycle them. Head over to Reformation’s website and choose to either recycle or sell your old clothing. If you choose to recycle your clothes ThredUP will give $5 to the Circular Fashion Fund — a non profit that aims to promote adoption of the circular economy. If you opt to sell, Reformation will send you an e-credit to use to purchase reformation clothing for any of the items ThredUP accepts. All you have to do is fill up your bag with high quality women and kids clothing or shoes, choose your preferred option, and dropt your bag at your local FedEx or USPS office.
- Blue Jeans Go Green Program. // Denim is made mostly from cotton which can be broken down into its natural state. Several clothing brands nationwide are now collecting denim donations and upcycling it into insulation for homes which is distributed to groups like Habitat for Humanity for use in communities in need. If you pop into your local Levi’s or Madewell store you can divert your old denim cast-offs from landing in a landfill. And even more exciting for those of us who know our desire for new duds will not wane, Madewell will even accept your denim donations (from any brand) AND give you 20% off a new denim purchase at their store. Alternatively, you can mail your denim for free courtesy of Zappos for Good. Log into your Zappos or Amazon account and download a free shipping label.
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